A Back to School Prayer
Dear Father God,
Thank you for my child who is also your child. Hey, we’re co-parents. I hadn’t even thought of that. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for reminding us of your faithfulness. Thank you for your mercy.
My Father, I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my already anxious child as she has to wear a mask alongside a classroom full of other already anxious children who aren’t allowed to touch each other.
My Lord, I’m afraid for the health and well-being of her and the children in her class. I’m afraid for the health—physical and mental—of her teacher who is having to overextend himself more than he has ever had to extend himself before in his life.
My God, I’m afraid for the janitorial staff, the rec club workers, the principal, the administrators, and their families who are being exposed more than they have yet. I’m afraid because this virus seems out of control.
And yet, God, I know that you are bigger and greater than it. But I also can’t comprehend how or when you choose to intervene in this, or how and when you work through your people and your church. I trust you and I love you and yet here I am, honestly afraid.
I know you say that perfect love casts out all fear. I know your love, but I can’t help but be afraid. Afraid because of my love for my own child. And I sit before you.
Afraid. Trusting. Hopeful. Terrified. At peace. Anxious. Frenetic. Still.
Did you feel this, God? When your Son came to earth? Did you have that knot in the pit-of-your-stomach?
I’m worried about COVID, your Son took on sin. I wonder if you’ve felt what I feel? I wonder.
Heavenly Father, I pray you’d help my child learn this year. But honestly God, I don’t care about her math or reading or social studies. I pray she’d learn dependence on you, perseverance, other-centered love, and that you are forever faithful.
I pray you’d be with the children who are afraid and anxious.
Be with the teachers, and all staff, who are afraid and anxious.
Help them to be drawn to you. To lean on you. To trust in you.
God, be with the parents, the very many parents, who are nervous, anxious, fearful, uncertain, and somehow thankful all at once, that the school year is beginning.
Lord, help us all.
In Jesus’ eternal name, we pray, AMEN.